Thursday, October 24, 2013

Sacrilege! The M9 is Better Than the New M (240)?

Forest Art, by Reed A. George
Leica M9, Carl Zeiss Sonnar 50mm f1.5 Lens
Always on the lookout for new blogs, and especially those focused on Leica, I recently came across Prosophos.
Peter, the blog's host, is of the opinion that the image quality from Leica's CCD cameras, specifically the M9, is better than the new CMOS sensor in the M240. I am not necessarily of the same mind, but I do love my M9, and for very different reasons than I love my CMOS-based Nikon D700, for example.
(Click Here) to get started reading Peter's thoughts on the Leica CCD vs. CMOS topic.
Better and worse are very absolute terms. In art, absolute terms can be dangerous. To be fair, Peter is careful not to use them too much in his discussions.
I don't necessarily think either the M9 or M240 are better than each other. If you're shooting in the dark, or need to shoot video, the M240 is better. If you like the look of CCD images without AA filters, the M9 is better. If you're like me and still feel the weight of the investment you've made in the M9, guess which one is better?
One more thing, which I feel more strongly about, is the touting of all of the new features on the M240. Let's face it, folks, CMOS low light performance and video capability have been around for years now, and in a wide range of cameras, including other full-frame ones. Just not in Leica rangefinders. So, I'm not wowed by those features. And for me, the thought of an add-on electronic viewfinder (EVF) for a Leica rangefinder is just mixing two very different worlds. I'm completely at home with the add on EVF on my Micro 4/3 camera. Not so with the most pure of cameras in my opinion, the Leica rangefinder.
What would change my mind about the value of live view and add-on finders for the new M? Well, if I had a collection of R lenses, which can now be adapted and brought back to life, that would be a start. I'm not in that situation.
So, as always, different horses for different courses. And to end it positively, I still feel that my M9 is a camera that has no peer - not in my collection or anyone else's.